Panic To Progress: Digital Transformation Gets Serious

Business in 2020 was a sprint, with many companies scrambling to move to an online model, the pandemic at their heels. Pandemic mayhem aside, true transformation from a digital perspective is a reflective practice.

Now is the time for companies to reflect on what works, what doesn’t, and how to plan for the long run. To do this, companies must go back to basics, evaluating their adherence to the four main pillars of digital transformation: people, technology, creativity and data.

People. Organizations need to factor in a business’s key analog element, its people. When a company's technology evolves at lightning speed, its workforce must be brought into the fold intentionally. This means:

  • Being transparent: How will this change the team’s day-to-day life?
  • Listening: Learn how to support your workforce as they navigate their new roles and responsibilities.
  • Investing: Train and educate to bring individuals up to speed on new technology.
  • Evolving:Open new channels for regular collaboration and feedback.



Part of opening these new channels is being intentional with diversity and inclusion initiatives, both internal and external. Businesses today are being called on to move beyond commerce and impact society as a whole.

Technology. Technology is only as successful as its framework. After analyzing current capabilities, especially after any rushed modifications in 2020, businesses need to evaluate their infrastructure against future demands. Once the framework is adapted for new platforms, every step of the infrastructure opens new opportunities.

Auditing existing technologies shows where automation can be more efficient. For example, retailers who use technology-driven stock management systems eliminate many responsibilities placed on employees, who are then free for more customer-facing tasks.

Data. Structuring data is essential to the transition. Yet while consumer and business digital adoption was expedited at an unprecedented rate last year, the methods behind capturing, analyzing and maximizing the data around that sprint didn’t always keep pace.

With privacy now at the forefront of most data conversations, businesses need to bring their data analysis systems up to speed and use firsthand data more effectively.

For example, while it’s not acceptable to use buyer insights to follow consumers on the internet, businesses need to study the intentions and behavior patterns behind firsthand data to reach individuals at critical points on the purchase journey. In refining these analyses, companies can discover ways to define new customer segments.

Creativity. Now more than ever, consumers are engaging with companies via multiple channels. As a result, content creativity needs to be adaptable, and quality content is critical. This creativity should be applied to all product, category descriptions and customer-facing information.

The 2020 race to digital transformation was a sprint. Now is the time to plan the rest of your race.

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